Eddie Hearn has defended his corner after Frank Warren claimed his rival broke an agreement when confirming that both Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury had finally signed their two-fight deal. The Matchroom chief told ESPN that the contract had finally been signed by all parties last weekend, with the full focus now on finding a site for the undisputed heavyweight world championship which looks set to land in the Middle East this summer.
Boxing fans were left concerned by a series of Fury interviews last week, in which he failed to talk up the fight and doubted whether it would materialise imminently.
But now both world champions have put pen to paper as Hearn, Warren and Bob Arum now look to secure a fight site.
Either fighter can still walk away from the table if they’re not satisfied with the arrangements although that now appears unlikely.
Following the news, Warren needed no second invitation to take a swipe at Hearn and claimed he broke a pact between the promoters.
“Everybody signed an agreement that there would be no announcements unless they were joint announcements and that came out the blue yesterday,” Warren told talkSPORT.
“We are all not happy but it is out there now – there is nothing we can do about that.
“But there is a long way to go yet in as much we have to sort out venues. We have a couple venues we are looking at and that is where we are.
“I believe it will happen when they get in the ring. We’ve still got a way to go. But everybody is on the same page to make this work.
“We are all collectively working to get a venue sorted now.”
Hearn has now taken the time to justify his actions, clearing up any confusion as to why he confirmed the contracts were now signed.
“Yesterday’s interview, not announcement, interview with ESPN was, we didn’t want to make a big formal announcement and a fuss,” he told iFL TV.
“But I wanted to let everyone know. I spoke to Fury’s team and they were happy to convey to everybody that everybody had signed because it’s good news.
“It’s called momentum, it’s excitement. There are still hurdles to overcome.
“We’ve still got to go out and decide where this is going to take place but we are moving in the right direction in terms of dates. It’s momentum, it’s good news.
“You guys have been waiting for good news and we’ve kept saying ‘two weeks, two weeks’ but when you get a fight as big as this, with the two fighters and all the teams putting pen to paper, let’s celebrate it and let’s move forward and get this done. That’s what we intend to do.”
Before adding in a direct response to Warren’s comments: “I think Frank said ‘it was agreed we would do announcements’ there wasn’t an announcement, I confirmed with Fury’s team and they were happy for that to be mentioned.
“So that’s what happened. It wasn’t a case of meeting tweeting ‘IT’S ON!’, it was just ‘I’ve heard you’ve all signed now, is that correct?’ and ‘yes we have signed we’re now moving forward to confirm the date and the venue’.
“And I think we should celebrate it, myself, Anthony, 258 Management have worked really hard to get this done.
“So we have still got work to do but how good is it that everybody has put pen to paper? Nobody can be accused of not trying to get this done from our side or their side. Now we’ve got to go and finish the job.”